Llamas are the most famous inhabitants of South American pampas and the Andes.
They were domesticated over four thousand years ago. Llamas were used as laborers and their meat was eaten. Curiously, only male meat is eaten. Despite the seeming gracefulness of the animals, they are perfectly adapted for life in high mountain areas. Besides them, only Tibetan yaks have such a feature. These are not all interesting facts about llamas.
The closest relative of a llama is a camel. The only difference between these two animals is that they have a hump. Llamas and camels can cross each other and give viable offspring that cannot reproduce. We have collected some other interesting facts about llamas that you probably did not know about.
7 facts about llamas
- Llamas were most often used as cargo animals. They could carry quite large loads on the steepest mountain trails.
- If a llama feels that the load is too heavy, she’ll just lie down on the ground. There’s no way to make her go any further.
- When a llama gets angry, she can spit at the abuser. That’s what camels do.
- Llama males can’t stand the competition. They fight fiercely against rivals for herd supremacy.
- During the holidays, the Indians sacrificed young Llama males to the gods. The choice of the deity to be sacrificed depended entirely on the color of the animal.
- Wild llamas are called guanaco. They still live high in the Andes.
- The shepherds were able to adapt the llamas to protect their herds. When in danger, the llamas roar loudly, signaling to other animals.
The top 3 most interesting facts about llamas
- Bucks are used in all activities. They carry goods, go for meat. Females are only needed for reproduction.
- To get wool, a special kind of llama, alpaca, was bred. They are more modest in size and not so strong.
- Llamas are very well trained. That’s what helped the Indians make them watchmen in herds.
Little-known facts about llamas
Llamas are gregarious animals. In the wild, their herds consist of a male and a dozen females. Anyone can try to lead the herd. But heads in herds change quite rarely. Perhaps this is because the dominant leader drives all males over a year old out of the herd. He sees them as competitors, which he gets rid of. The exiles create their own herd or live as bachelors.
Some people keep llamas as pets. There’s a known case where the llamas managed to learn how to surf. Llamas are caught for zoos, hunted for meat. In addition, llamas or alpaca wool is highly valued in the market. Despite this, the number of llamas is quite high and they do not need protection.
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